One of the most stunning natural wonders in the United States, Antelope Canyon is a favorite among photographers, tourists, and visitors from all over the world. A popular slot canyon on the Navajo Reservation, it is unearthly in its beauty, created over many thousands of years by wind and water which carved the sandstone into the temple we see today.
Tourists make the trek for the natural light show, which is something of a photographers dream. “The views in Lower Antelope Canyon change constantly as the sun moves across the sky, filtering lights softly across the stone walls. These ever-moving sun angles bounce light back and forth across the narrow canyon’s walls, creating a dazzling display of color, light, and shadow.”
Antelope Canyon is a place where you can experience nature in its raw form, though those interested in visiting should note that the area is only open by joining a tour.
Things You Need to Know Before You Go On Antelope Canyon Tours
Where to Stay
Page is the closest city to Antelope Canyon, only 10 miles away. Find hotels & airbnbs and book via this map:
Know What You Want
Antelope Canyon is divided into Lower Antelope and Upper Antelope. When selecting an Antelope Canyon tour package, you should know which one you want to visit, and think about which one is right for you.
Lower Antelope has fewer tourists and is cheaper to visit, though is much longer and canyon spaces make some people feel uncomfortable. Note that you’ll be climbing stairs and ladders too. Upper Antelope is more popular because it has wider walkways, though this means it is more expensive and sees a lot more tourists.
So, if you’re adventurous and want a challenging trip you can choose Lower Antelope. If you prefer comfort you may want to stick to Upper Antelope.
Take Your Camera Along
The light effects in Antelope Canyon offer some stunning photo opportunities, so make sure you’ve traveled with your camera. Landscape photographers will be in their element!
The light beams that penetrate through the gaps in the rocks do only last for a short time, so make sure you have a camera which is easy to whip out. A point and shoot or an easy to reach DSLR are ideal – you’ll miss the shot if you’re trying to change lenses. Also, remember that any heavy camera equipment you take, you have to hike with.
Lighting conditions are best around mid-morning between April and September, but the other months bring smaller crowds and a more intimate experience where you won’t struggle with as many tourists in your shots.
Carry Your Water
As with any day spent in the outdoors, it’s highly recommended that you carry your own water bottle. While the canyon below is cooler than the hot desert air above, you will still need water to stay hydrated throughout the day.
There are no shops around so you will need to bring water with you.
You Can’t Take a Backpack
Keep in mind that you can’t take a backpack into Antelope Canyon, so whatever you take in you’ll have to carry.
Backpacks cause problems because the Lower Antelope has tight spaces and it can be inconvenient for you to move through, and damaging for the environment.
Carry limited items like a water bottle and some headgear that will protect you from the sun and sand.
Eat Before You Head for the Tour
It’s important to eat and use the bathroom before you begin your tour. Likewise with our tip for carrying water – there are no shops once you’re inside the canyon, so you won’t be able to purchase food. Eating healthy will ensure that you stay fit during the entire tour and maintain your energy levels throughout the day.
There aren’t any bathroom facilities either, so go before you leave to avoid an embarrassing situation during the tour!
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Photo Credits: All photos by Moyan Brenn.